The first day of school can be tough for any kid, but for 16-year-old Alex Scafuri, it marks the latest step in his trying and challenging journey.
The Agawam High School junior has spent months recovering from an accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
"I was certainly surprised when they said he'd be right back to school. I think Alex just wants it to be another regular day," said Chris Scafuri, Alex’s father.
A regular day for a regular kid, but the day that brought them to this moment was anything but regular.
Chris Scafuri remembers March 16, 2015 all too well. Alex was on his way home from volleyball tryouts, when the unthinkable happened. He was hit by a car and left on the side of the road.
Six months later, and countless hours of recovery later, Alex couldn’t wait to go back to school and reunited with all of his friends.
"They're ready for him to come back as well, I think they all miss him there,” Chris Scafuri added.
The Scafuri family met at Agawam High School Wednesday to speak with teachers and faculty about Alex’s first day of school, as well as the year ahead.
The school has made special arrangements for Alex, such as building an additional ramp and hiring a paraprofessional to ensure he feels comfortable back at school.
Superintendent of Public Schools William Sapelli said that faculty and staff were excited to welcome Alex back into the classroom.
"They went into the classroom and had Alex, along with the teacher, pick what would be the best spot for him and where he would feel most comfortable with his chair," Sapelli said.
The community support that has helped Alex through his recovery will now be displayed each and every day in the hallways of Agawam High. The school has started a “buddy system” for Alex, where close friends and classmates will take turns assigning Alex throughout the school day.
“We’ll have students helping him as much as possible. Friends help each other anyway, whether you'll wheelchair bound or not," Sapelli said.
It’s a new year and a new beginning for Alex - a fresh start the whole Scafuri family is looking forward to.
Alex’s family and friends are hosting a fundraising golf tournament on October 3. All proceeds will go towards covering Alex’s continuing medical bills.
For more information on this event, CLICK HERE.
Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.